Managing The Process
Managing the Process
In recent weeks, our theme has been faithfulness and remaining focused while we press toward the promises of God and our destiny as an individual, family, and church. Basic to our understanding is the fact that since conversion, we are not our own, we are bought with a price. And since that purchase, God has been directing our lives as best He can given the carnal nature that we are endowed with.
A statement was made by a speaker in a Pastor's Conference, "We may have God in our hearts and minds, but our granddaddy is in our bones!" As much as I would like to say that victory is immediate, I've learned over the years that victory is a process. Getting to the place of God's promises in your life is a journey! Victory is lived out, submitted under the mighty hand of GOD, walking in the faithful light, empowered by the Holy Spirit of Promise, worshipping, serving, sacrificing ourselves to God which is only our reasonable service.
Our text today is in Joshua 10, and all of you know that passage is about dealing with the negatives while possessing the Promised Land. "Christ in me" is the hope of glory, but I need to tell you, He is living in there with some other folks too. There are some Jebusite, Ammonites, Perezites, and Caananites that have occupied the Promised Land, and before the children of Israel could possess their land of promise, they had to fight to extricate the enemies and drive them out.
Brother, if it was "Just Jesus" in here this morning, my what a service we would have. But truth is, we brought through those doors all kinds of other issues, other thoughts, other problems, other questions, other loved ones, other desires, other needs, other priorities.
Many of you think the victory is getting that promotion at work, or buying that piece of property, or getting that guy to notice you, or getting that neighbor's dog to quit pooping in your yard. Listen, the victory is not an external battle! The real battle goes on inside you, where the fleshly desires lusteth against the spirit. The battle is really about you becoming the purposeful, most powerful witness for Christ, "throughly furnished unto good works, which GOD hath before ordained that you should walk in them."
Joshua's outside battle is a picture of your inside warfare. Joshua's call was to lead 2 million nomadic people to a place of God's Promise, and keep them focused on the Purpose of God to give them a new home, and settle down in the place of God's leading and purpose.
Listen, every stage of life has it's on hell to deal with. You can't escape it! "Many are the afflictions of the righteous!" But the LORD delivers him out of them all." Yes there is a battle to fight on your way to Gloryland, but there is an advantage that you have. God is with you! He shares your heavy load, His presence is near you everyday. Though other would be lonely and say I'm sad and lone, but I have somebody with you all the way!
Hey, I know you are sitting beside a $500 suit that looks like he's got everything together, but I promise you, he's got some mess going on too. You may be sitting beside that sweet little thing that looks like she's got her act together too, but I promise, if you could look inside, you would see all kinds of stuff that torment her. Hey, trouble is common to all of us at every stage of life.
Because there is a battle on the inside, that's where the bleeding and suffering is. There is a tiredness that sleep won't fix! A weariness that a nap won't help! When you've battled long, and suffered long, beat up and knocked down, you say with the man of patience, "When shall I arise and this night be gone, and I am full of tossing to and fro until the dawning of the day."
Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel. And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal. But these five kings fled, and hid themselves in a cave at Makkedah. And it was told Joshua, saying, The five kings are found hid in a cave at Makkedah. And Joshua said, Roll great stones upon the mouth of the cave, and set men by it for to keep them.
God will give you victory over all your enemies, even if the end is en e me!
The children of Israel are now going about the business of occupying the Promised Land. The Gibeonites deceived Joshua and the leaders of Israel. Ai and Jericho have already fallen, and five kings of five cities have determined that they are going to join forces, thinking that if they outnumber the Israelites they will overwhelm them and defeat these wilderness wanderers who have come to drive us out!
While fighting the Amorites, Joshua was fighting a valiant effort, but he was running out of time. 2 Kings 20:11 and Joshua 10:13 tell of a missing day! Scientist cast it aside and explain it away, but God's Word declares it! God brought great victory!
The tide of the battle turned and the enemy began to flee. They met the enemy and chased them out and smote them. The five kings of the cities hid in a cave, and Joshua put stones at the mouth of the cave and sealed it till the enemies were finished. They chased what used to chase them!
The King of Makkedah: The place of the Shepherds
The land was fertile and the water in the streams was clean and pure. It was a place of plentiful blessings to provide food, water, and peaceful surroundings. It had belonged to the children of Israel, but they lost it. They left it! God led Abraham to it, but he led his family away from the Promised Land and went down into Egypt. Its always a battle to fight to get back something you have lost or ran away from. The love of a child, or the strength of a marriage, or respect after you have committed a disrespectful deed. You've got to fight!
**Manage the battle!
How many times have you had to put something in a place where you can control it until you win the battle with some other issues you are fighting! Yes, its there, you can't see it, because I've got a rock in front of it! You have to be careful when you are courting, or looking for a partner, he or she may have a rock in front of something he hasn't got victory over yet. I may not have total victory over it yet, but I've got it under control.
"A man who cannot rule his own spirit is like a city without walls."
There is no safety if you don't have control. It is not so much that God delivers you, but that He gives you the power to get things under control! Joshua says, "I know I've got to deal with these kings, but I'm gonna seal up this cave and fight the enemy there and deal with these kings later.
I was working real hard on under the cabinet lighting. Thought it was just a bulb issue, but it was a blast problem, and when I replaced it, I thought it should work. But no! I discovered that the unit had a switch on it, and it was off, so I turned it on. It still wouldn't work. I kept at it till I realized that the breaker had tripped! It wasn't even in the kitchen, it was in the utility room. The problem I thought was here, was really there! Sometimes you have to get it right here, before you can get it right there, cause it won't work out until you get it all right!
You may think the problem your dealing with is on the battlefield is really over there in that cave!
The mean spirit in the house is really about over there at work. The problem at school is really about what's going on at home. I don't want to lose my today worrying about a battle I fought in my yesterday!